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Tuesday, 30 November 1965

Mr HAROLD HOLT (Higgins) (Treasurer) . - in reply - I take this opportunity to say a few words at the conclusion of the debate. I thank both sides of the House for the thoughtful consideration which they have given to a very complex piece of legislation. This is another chapter in a story which began when, some years ago, the Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) announced that the Government would be setting up a committee in order to bring some more orderly presentation into the income tax legislation. Out of that undertaking came the appointment of the Ligertwood Committee, long months of deliberation by that very able body of men and, finally, the consideration by the then Commissioner of Taxation who, as a result of his own labours, produced a report that was just about double the dimensions of the report of the Ligertwood Committee itself. From then on there was a process of close examination by the appropriate officers of the Taxation Branch, officers of the Treasury and a Committee of the Cabinet, reporting in turn to Cabinet. Finally came a legislation which was introduced last year. It came towards the end of the sessional period. There was - the Government acknowledged this at the time - inadequate opportunity for a thorough consideration of the legislation by the Committee of the Whole. We said then that we would consider the representations subsequently reaching us and make such amendments as might appear to be necessary.

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